Calvary Classical School

Pearl of a School

pearlIn the world of internet sales, there is nothing quite as disappointing as buying a product online only to find, after days of waiting for its arrival on your doorstep, that it’s not what you expected. When our family moved to the Hampton Roads area six years ago, my husband and I were presented with the feat of finding a school (and a house!) in just two short days. The task seemed daunting, so I took to the internet, scouring every corner for possible leads and setting up school tours.  But, as is often the case with the internet, what you see is not always what you get.

I had put countless hours into hunting for a great school for our upcoming kindergartner, but all my planning was to no avail. Our school visits did not measure up to what we were hoping to find. Thankfully, my fruitless search was setting me up to experience the beauty of the scriptural truth that God appoints the times and places in which we are to dwell.

“We knew this was our school.”

After all my futile efforts to craft a plan for the future, God orchestrated a seemingly insignificant conversation with some new found friends who recommended Calvary with great excitement and fervor.  With only one day remaining in our visit, we wasted no time in calling CCS.  From the moment we arrived, we knew this was our school.

With the simple recommendation of friends, we discovered the priceless pearl that is Calvary Classical School. Six years and three enrolled students later, we are still confident in our choice to enroll our children at CCS.   In fact, year after year, we are amazed at the opportunity that God has given us to be part of this school community where we see hearts overflowing with devotion to students, redemption infused discipline, tireless commitment to quality, and dedication to integrating Biblical truth into everyday moments.

If you are looking for a fantastic school, look no further! If you are blessed to be part of the CCS family, spread the word about our school!  It could likely be the priceless pearl that someone else is seeking!

This post by Joy McMinn, our administrative assistant and mom to three CCS students.

Why President Trump’s Election Matters to CCS

Note: we do not support organizationally or speak ill of any president, past or future. This is simply a commentary on the opportunities we see before us.

Until just now, you have probably never mentioned President Trump and our school in the same sentence. In reflecting on the events of the past few months, we have realized what a golden opportunity we have in Hampton Roads to capitalize on the proposals set forth by the new administration.

President Trump recently visited our area to speak to the employees at Newport News shipyard. He talked about his plans to expand the military spending budget and his desire to increase the amount of carriers in our Navy. To an organization hit hard by spending cuts over the last few years, this was a welcome sign that jobs would once again return to the area after a season of higher unemployment and more uncertainty.

While we are not affiliated with any political party, any policy that creates growth in Hampton Roads is great news for CCS! We hope this increased budget causes the military community – and subsequently our civilian community as well – to expand rapidly. Fort Eustis and Langley Air Force Base both have the potential to benefit from the growth that may happen.

Choosing a new school is especially tough on military families

As a parent, choosing the right school for your child can be an overwhelming decision. This is especially tough on military families who move into a community and immediately have to decide where to send their children without having a lot of information about each particular choice. On top of that, there is pressure to choose wisely. Education is one of the most important components of a child’s life, and it is a privilege to be held in the highest regard.

Whether you are involved in the military or not, be on the lookout for opportunities to reach out to new folks who move into the area. Many of them will lack a community, friendships, and in our case, a school their children can attend. Use these moments as opportunities to make newcomers feel welcome, and tell them the reason behind why you send your child to CCS!

Word-of-mouth referrals are the number one reason we welcome new families into our school. If you love CCS, as so many of you talked about during our Love CCS social media promotion, tell someone about it! Help new military families find the right educational choice for their children. Welcome them, talk to them, and have them over for dinner! it’s the perfect opportunity to make new friends and help them with the resources you already have.

No matter what President is in office, we hope to see growth in our area for many years to come. We love serving the current families involved in our school, and we are excited to see even more faces in our classrooms in the future!

Post by Maria Spady. Maria is a wedding and family photographer based in Hampton Roads. She is on the CCS team as a marketing specialist.

How Do I Measure Up?

testingSome students are nervous. Others groan at the reminder. Standardized testing is next week!

While few people probably enjoy yearly assessments, they are a necessary part of school. At CCS, we use the tests to evaluate how much students have learned through our curriculum and to guide us in improving our instructional programs and practices. But clearly, the driving question in all these young minds is, “Do I measure up?”

A standardized test cannot measure a child’s courage when facing a trial.

It’s a question we all need to consider fully. There is nothing wrong with wanting to do well. And to that end, teachers pray with their students daily as they test, asking God to strengthen them with focus, good recall, perseverance, and the acceptance that they will not know every answer. More importantly, they remind these tender souls that there are numerous things that a standardized test can never measure—weighty, wonderful things.

A standardized test cannot measure a student’s love or compassion or patience with companions.

A standardized test cannot measure a child’s self-control during temptation.

A standardized test cannot measure a child’s courage when facing a trial.

It can’t measure faith or humor or integrity or creativity or kindness or selflessness or joy. These Christ-like qualities are worth far more than a high score on a standardized test!

Our goal as a classical Christian school is to nurture the intellect and the affections of our students and point them toward the God who made the human body, mind, heart, and soul. We are made in His image. He is our true measure.

Blog post by Linda Sawanowich, Director of Instruction at Calvary Classical School

Why My Future Children Will Attend CCS

When my husband and I first started talking about raising a family in Hampton Roads, we were in agreement on a lot of things, but very torn on what to do about education. We knew we still had a while to decide, but he favored private education (especially a Christian school), and I was a proponent of public schooling. We put the discussion on the backburner for a while since it wasn’t an imminent decision, knowing we came from very different backgrounds.

I grew up overseas and spent much of my life either in a very small international school or in homeschool. As an extrovert, staying at home to learn was not the ideal situation for me, even with three other siblings. When my family moved back to America before I started 8th grade, my parents made the decision to send me to public school.
I loved every minute of it. Getting to be around people, learning in a larger classroom environment, and being a part of the culture I felt I had missed out on my whole life. Meanwhile, Nathan spent his entire education at a private Christian school and saw the merits of learning in this atmosphere.

It wasn’t until we started to spend time at Calvary Classical School that I changed my mind and realized the value of classical Christian education. As a photographer, I have listened in on lessons for students of all ages while taking pictures. As a social media expert, I have watched closely as CCS has given its students experiences that would be impossible at a public school. As a future mom, I have seen the way the teachers and the principal interact with each other and the students on a daily basis.

a biblical worldview is injected into each moment and adds another layer of value

Classical education gives children the well-rounded, experience-rich learning that is so desperately needed in schools today. At Calvary, the addition of a biblical worldview that is not just talked about in a cursory way but injected into each moment adds another layer of value to the school day. Because of the specific, one-on-one learning required in classical schools, CCS has attracted the kind of teachers and administrative staff that is ideal for children of all ages.
Now that I have seen how CCS works and how rich the education is, I can think of no other place I would rather send my future children. After having the same experience as Calvary’s IT technician, my husband is in full agreement. We are currently in the adoption process and have a long way to go before we are able to send our child to this wonderful school, but we know that when the time comes the choice will be easy.

I can see that classical education is desirable. I know that developing a Christian worldview is essential for our future child(ren). With the perfect combination of both at CCS, coupled with people who care so deeply about the children behind the desks, we know the future of education in our family is bright.

Maria is a wedding and family photographer based in Hampton Roads. She is on the CCS team as a marketing specialist. In her spare time, she loves eating sushi, walking her dog, and going on long runs – especially when it’s warm!

American Sign Language at CCS

languageCCS offers an ASL (American Sign Language) after-school club. I have the privilege to lead this. I first began learning American Sign Language (ASL) when I was in Kindergarten, where I learned basic French, Spanish and ASL. I remember signing “I love you” to my parents each day after being dropped off at school. My interest continued through high school, when I was able to take ASL as a foreign language from both hearing and deaf teachers.  I absolutely loved it!

In high school, my first deaf teacher assigned a project in which I had to translate and present a story or song. It was incredible knowing that my song translation allowed my teacher to hear with her eyes what her ears would not allow her to hear and experience. I realized then that ASL literally brings Matthew 11 to life:

…the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them.

ASL opens doors to spread the Gospel as any other foreign language does!

ASL opens doors to spread the Gospel as any other foreign language does! We are commanded to bring the Gospel to the Nations – including the deaf in our own community!

Not only is ASL a tool to share the Gospel, it is an opportunity to worship God in another language!  I once had the opportunity to interpret while on a mission trip in Mexico. We were worshipping with a local congregation which included two deaf church members. As we all worshipped together, I had the overwhelming realization that we were worshipping in three languages – Spanish, English, and ASL. In that moment, I had a small taste of the heavenly worship described in Revelation 7:

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands, and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

One of my favorite things to do with ASL is to sign worship songs or teach others to do the same. It has been my joy this year to offer ASL club after school, teaching students to sign worship songs. In January, the CCS club presented “In Christ Alone” during a school assembly and at the annual Variety Show. The students spent a lot of time learning the signs and did a beautiful job! Watching them brought tears to my eyes as I thought of the joy that is ours when we praise God in any language, even one which uses our hands.


Post by Sara Winant, Calvary Classical School’s sixth-grade teacher.